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Tip for Trump: Term limits can only be passed by exempting currently elected officials

Term limits

(NaturalNews) One of President-elect Donald J. Trump's goals in office is to usher in congressional term limits. As one of his six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in the nation's capital, proposing a constitutional amendment that would curb the amount of time Americans could serve in Congress is first on the list.

What chance does Trump really have in getting an amendment limiting congressional terms through Congress though?

Slim to none, most political analysts would conclude. The Republican majority may be prepared to work with the Trump administration to accomplish much of what he wants, but it's highly unlikely that they would vote to approve an amendment that would eventually put them out of a job.

But what if, as part of an agreement to get the amendment passed and sent to the states for ratification (in which three-fourths of state legislatures would also have to approve – a tall order), currently-serving lawmakers would be exempted? Might that sweeten the deal, so to speak?

It might.

Trump and others believe term limits would solve a lot of the corruption problems in D.C.

Many of Trump's campaign advisors know Washington, D.C., very well. They know that the halls of Congress are filled with careerist, narcissistic politicians who have somehow done quite well for themselves while "serving" their citizens. Take retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, for example: After decades in public service earning a modest salary, he's retiring a multi-millionaire.

So, they understand the "what's in it for us?" mentality quite well. In some respects, that's the mentality Trump's entire "drain the swamp" approach to cleaning up Washington corruption embodies.

But then again, the greater good would be the opportunity to finally put in place congressional term limits that many political scientists and other observers say are vitally needed to keep deep-rooted corruption at bay.

So, exempting the current batch of lawmakers, while imposing, say, two six-year terms on senators and six two-year terms on House members, on all newly-elected members after a certain date, could just get the amendment to the states, where some 80 percent of legislatures are Republican-controlled.

As noted by Ashford University, the founding fathers did not include congressional term limits in the Constitution, though they were included in the Articles of Confederation. So they set House terms at two years, forcing those serving in the people's body to face voters often.

At the nation's founding, senators were selected by state legislatures, but after problems arose with that process in the late 19th century, Congress eventually passed a constitutional amendment making senators elected directly by the people, as House members were. It was ratified on April 8, 1913.

Art of the (congressional) deal?

It seems as though many of the problems that led 19th-century lawmakers to change the Constitution – political parties gaining control over the election process; rich, powerful interests getting the candidates they want in office – are present again today.

The only way to fix the problem, Trump believes, is to limit terms, like presidents (22nd Amendment).

He's not alone. Former New Mexico and Massachusetts Govs. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, respectively, both agree that their term-limited careers as heads of their state served the best interests of the people.

"This process of becoming career politicians is one reason Congress is so unpopular. It's unhealthy to be constantly seeking re-election. It's like a shepherd feeding himself on the lambs in his own flock, instead of fending for and protecting them," they wrote. Johnson was the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee and Weld was his running mate.

And while many in Congress say putting limits on their terms would rob the country of experienced politicians, the public isn't buying that: Johnson and Weld note that three-quarters of Americans agree with them, and that career politicians are the only ones arguing that.

Trump may get his wish if the author of "The Art of the Deal" can make one with Congress.





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